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Professional Societies

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Students are encouraged to join professional societies such as the American Anthropological Association and other organizations tailored to regional and topical interests.  Most of these societies provide students with reduced membership fees and offer scholarship opportunities to student members.

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American Anthropological Association (AAA)

The primary professional society of anthropologists in the United States since its founding in 1902, is the world’s largest professional organization of individuals interested in anthropology. The AAA provides numerous online resources for graduate students, and an extensive list of funding opportunities.  Please see

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Society for American Archaeology (SAA)

An international organization dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage of the Americas. With more than 6,600 members, the society represents professional, student, and vocational archaeologists working in a variety of settings including government agencies, colleges and universities, museums, and the private sector. See The SAA presents the Arthur C. Parker Scholarship and National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships for Archaeological Training for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians.  See the SAA website for application deadlines. The Dienje Kenyon Fellowship is presented in support of research by women students in the early stages of their archaeological training.  It is presented in honor of Dienje Kenyon and was awarded for the first time in 2000.  The Student Paper Award is designed to recognize the best student research paper presented at the Annual Meeting. All student members of SAA are eligible to participate.

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American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA)

The world’s leading professional organization for physical anthropologists. Formed by 83 charter members in 1930, the AAPA now has an international membership of over 1,700. The Association’s annual meetings draw nearly two thousand scientists and students from all over the world. Their webpage provides links to several funding sources that support biological anthropology including the National Geographic Society, National Institutes of Health, Decade of Behavior, and Ellis R. Kerley Forensic Sciences Foundation.  The AAPA also awards several student prizes to graduate students.  See

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Sigma Xi

Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society is a non-profit membership society of more than 70,000 scientists and engineers who were elected to the Society because of their research achievements or potential.  Sigma Xi has more than 500 chapters at universities and colleges, government laboratories and industry research centers.  In addition to publishing American Scientist, Sigma Xi awards grants annually to promising young researchers.  See for more information.

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Regional societies

While this list is not comprehensive, it does provide a good sampling of the types of professional organizations that support graduate students in anthropology.

Oregon Archaeological Society. Offers the Roy F. Jones Memorial Scholarship.  This $1500 award is made to a student enrolled in a college or university in Oregon or Washington, to assist in funding a worthy archaeological project. This scholarship was established in 1973 to honor the memory of a man who was an enthusiastic supporter of archaeology. The deadline is usually in February. See for more information.

Association for Oregon Archaeologists. Accepts proposals for funding archaeological research in Oregon. Grants will provide funds for technical analyses necessary for ongoing research in the state. The total amount of this award is $500. Proposals may target all or part of this amount. The application deadline is usually in February, and announcement of the winner usually takes place at the Northwest Anthropological Conference in March.

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